Sunday, October 17, 2021

Negros officials back ID system as anti-terrorism measure

NEGROS Occidental Provincial Planning and Development Coordinator Ma. Lina Sanogal said the national identification (ID) system is a good anti-terrorism measure with the terror threat in Mindanao.

The Regional Peace and Order Council, chaired by Negros Oriental Governor Roel Degamo, passed a resolution on Friday, June 9, adopting a national ID system during their special meeting at the Negros Oriental Convention Center in Dumaguete City.

Sanogal said the officials in the region are supporting the proposal of the national government to have an integrated ID system.

She added that the centralized system is "relevant" especially that Mindanao is under Martial Law for 60 days due to the ongoing clash between the army and the Maute group.

She said that the ID system can easily profile law-abiding citizens from persons of interest and monitor movements of the citizens.

Sanogal said the resolution will be submitted to the National Peace and Order Council chaired by President Rodrigo Duterte.

For his part, Colonel Eliezer Lozañes, commander of the 303rd Infantry Brigade of the Philippine Army, said it would be easier for law enforcement agencies to “confirm the identities” of the citizens and suspected terrorists with the implementation of national ID system.

“We can easily authenticate and establish their identities,” he added.

Moreover, the Council also approved the resolution urging resort owners to add more security personnel.

Lozañes said that some resorts, especially in southern Negros, lack security personnel, adding that the police and the army have to “compensate” for the establishments’ inadequate security efforts.

“It’s the responsibility of the resort owners to hire more security personnel,” he added.

Lozañes pointed out that the southern part of the region is facing Mindanao, which can be an entry point.

He said that with the additional manpower in resorts, law enforcers can be deployed to strategic areas instead to further strengthen their security measures.

The resolution will be endorsed to the Department of Tourism as the Council is pushing for it to be included as one of the requirements for resort owners to comply before securing a permit or accreditation.

On Thursday, Negros Occidental Governor Alfredo Marañon Jr. created Task Force Buglas, an anti-terrorism body.

Security forces in Negros, in an inter-agency meeting held in Bacolod City Thursday, declared that there is no terror threat in Negros Island Region.

However, they remain on full alert for possible terror attack.
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